Thursday, June 29, 2017

Salsa 103

By George Nyugen, Turtle Bay

Yes, there was at one time a third group of New York dancers, I grant you that it is a dying breed, but it is still there. It is what I can only call "cultural Two dancers". These are remnants of past explosions in the music’s popularity when people simply learn to dance on the dance floor; in their homes, with their friends; watching others; stepping on each others feet; going for it. The last such explosion took place in the early 80’s. There was a club called the Cheetah where the New York Latin youth were introduced by the thousands to Salsa by the Fania All Stars.

"Oye Como Va" por Azucar Moreno

People just got into it and learned to dance, without going to lessons. Many people learned to dance like that, some of them on the "2", some on the "3", and others (fewer) both ways. In any case, in New York, if you really want to mingle you have to make some adjustments. Somebody has to. It is usually the man who has to adjust to the lady. Or you tell the lady that you really would like to dance with her, but that you dance different and find it difficult, or impossible, to adjust. She will probably give it a try at adjusting to the leading man’s ways.

"Se Acabo" por Lucia Mendez

That is the way it is in New York. Once you dance outside the few places where the dance studio crowd hangs out, you are on your own; you enter the real world of social interaction; no more "lets practice the CBL with the triple combo with side kick and double time shuffle". Or the "the double underarm sniff con tres vueltas en un pie" It becomes Social Dancing and it is "Social Basics Level One".

"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is  translated
through you into the action of dancing, and because there is only
one of you, in all of time, this expression is unique."

Monday, June 26, 2017

Rumba in West Oahu

By Nancy Toyama, Kalealoa:
The rumba is from old Caribbean stock movements that had existed long before the first Europeans arrived and modified slightly by the Spanish and the freed Blacks. It has been remodified in the US and England in the last century to the present day Rumba. And we have come to accept that there are several ways of dancing Rumba. They can all be beautiful because of the music. Show business includes the International competition dancers for they are well in advanced complicated movements. The social dancers have a very different problem. It is the ordinary Rumba danced by millions just because they love to move to that music.

"Social Dancers know that the only way to make sense out of change
is to plunge into it, move with it, and join in the dance."

And it may require a syllabus of bronze and silver with less that 40 movements which can be done over and over again in sheer joy. In the Caribbean throughout the centuries, hundreds of dances have used a basic rock step and a slow step for a four count dance. To this day, the Son, Montuno, Calypso, Beguine, Mambo, Salsa, and the rest of them, the basic is the rock step and a slow step. And they usually break on the loudest beat, the accent. It had been introduced to the US in fragments by some in the big cities early in the century but it was not until Arthur Murray got a hold of it that it acquired its fascination with the American Ballroom Dancer.

"Abrazame" por Alejandro Fernandez

He made his first mistake. He figured the rock stop of the Caribbean would not be so easily acquired by the American dancers. And knowing that the square step was very "basic" he "invented" the square step for the Rumba basic, slow, quick, quick, which is still taught today even in Hawaii. After the WWII, Fred Astaire opened his own studios and used the same square step. And the Arthur Murray Studios made a second mistake and took him to the courts and they won. So Fred Astaire was a dancer and he modified the same square step to quick, quick, slow and got away with it. That split the American Style in two.

"Contigo A La Distancia" por Lucho Gatica

Then since the Latin people were so accustomed to using the rock step (quick, quick) and breaking on the accented beat, it was a natural for them to prefer the Fred Astaire American Style. The social rumba has remained a problem and is heading for a fusion using the "alternate" basic which is nothing more than the old rock step and a slow step. Now there is already an increase on Oahu, for people that have danced both styles to use the "Alternate" basic. Some men say they just start off with International basic and dance the rest of the steps American. The Arthur Murray people are not thrilled of course, but many are picking up on the new action very nicely. It is most easily accepted by those accustomed to dancing Mambo and/or Salsa. All the rest of the steps are easy and fit in very nicely.

"Social Dancers know that it isn't hard to find injustice around us, but we must never allow injustice to smear the good deeds that do occur everyday."

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Aiea Ballroom

Received a nice email, from Deanie and she has just become the best Information Contributor for our blogs. I am physically impaired and do what I can but this information is just terrific. Our blogs do not do advertising but we do have a duty to provide as much up to date dance information to our fellow dancers as we can. They in turn can do as they damn well please and go wherever they want to go.

From Deanie Burgess, Aiea Balloom

School address: 99-600 Kulawea St., Aiea. Cost: FREE - just bring a small something to eat. And, of course, bring your dance shoes. Next class session [session runs 7 weeks] will start July 13. Dances will be Samba and Merengue. All classes are held on Thursdays at Aiea Intermediate School. Class registration IS NOT required if you come to the July social. Eating, dancing and enjoying yourself is! --You can view Aiea webpage: abda-hawaii.

"Morning Dew" by Melveen Leed

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

This coming Saturday, June 24, Hawaii Gardenia Circle will have a full ballroom dance at the Palladium. Time: 6:00-9:30 pm. Bert Burgess will DJ the music. Snack served at half time. No truth to the rumor of a keg of beer. Lots of dancing and fun.

"Hanalei Moon" by Don Ho

This coming Sunday, June 25, the Swing Dance Club of Hawaii will have a dance. Professional, Greg Underwood, will teach a class from 5:00-6:00 pm [probably Night Club 2 Step]. Cost: $5.00 per person. From 6:00-7:00 pm, Greg will teach West Coast Swing. From 7:00-9:00 pm there will be open dancing. DJ Bert Burgess. Cost for the Swing Dance time is $5 [members] or $8 [all others].

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" by Bruddah Iz

Snack served about 8:00 pm. The Swing Dance Club is predominately West Coast Swing. However, they do include Night Club 2 Step, Hustle, Country 2 Step, and some ballroom tempos. This is the only dance club on Oahu that offers "Westies" a lot of West Coast Swing! Other dance venues will play "some" West Coast Swing.

This coming Sunday [6/25] ALL MEN COME IN FREE FROM 6:00-9:00 PM. It's a belated Father's Day dance. Come on guys - lots of ladies to dance with.

"Blogger's Law #25, If anything can go wrong, it will."

In July, the Swing Dance Club will have a dance on Tuesday July 4th at the Palladium. The times listed above will be the same for this date. Also in July, Sunday 7/30. Same time frame as above. Get your dancing shoes on, and let's boogie!!

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Rock Step

Rock step, probably one the first moves developed by the Mexican Civilizations six thousand years ago. They danced the even step forward, backward and sideways. In going forward and then changing direction to go back there was distinct difference in the movement. And you could rock back to where you were before. In modern times it has also been called a break step, and may refer to other similar dance moves.

  "Praise is a device for making a person deserve it."

The name in our dance culture refers to the rocking action during the move: the weight is transferred from one foot to another and then back. It is used in a number of dances, perhaps as many as a thousand throughout the world. Most often it is a two-step dance move executed in two beats of music. In Latin America it can be used in a three count such as the Latin Waltz. As with most basic movements there are a basic six with just about as many variations from there as you wish

"Yesterday" by the Beatles

In rocking forward, the dancer steps forwards with full weight transfer then transfers the weight back to the back foot while keeping it in place. There are two different forward rocks where the man steps forward with either foot and rocks back to his other foot. In doing the back rock step, there are also two and every thing is just in reverse. And most dancers have no trouble with that.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Lisa Ono

The side rock should come just as naturally. The leader steps with his left foot to the left and rocks back to his right foot. The right side rock is just the opposite. Then there are the turning rocks just to go in a different direction, left or right. Six different step movements but all are very basic in what had been at one time developed from more primitive environments and now into modern cultural dancing.

"Social dancers know that good deeds should be done for intention
and not for attention."

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Kaena Point

Dancing in Makaha has never been done and as the saying goes, it never will be. Hawaii is such a paradise and it is a shame that parts of it have to live on tricks. Most of us have heard "around the island" and we know what that means. It does not mean around the island, and there has never been a road around this island of Oahu. Yes, we all know we are kidding ourselves. We do that all the time.

"Life is defined more by its risks than by its sameness.
Choose your Habits, Choose your Life."

With a road cut from Kaena Point to the North Shore, the people in Mokuleia could drive to Mahaha, have a nice dance for an evening and then be home in twenty minutes. The people in Mahaha could drive over to Haleiwa and buy things they couldn't get in Waianae.  But we can spend billions and billions of dollars on a rail that everyone knows will not work. We just got suckered into it. Ben could have save us on that, but they spent ten million dollars lying about him. Later he won in court but too late then. The Crook Was In.

 "Warehouse Blues" by Willie K

One big layer of trash about six feet and a layer of dirt six feet on top of that dumped onto the rocks at Kaena Point the results would be a whole new park created at that point. Sand Island was built on a dream too. There could be enough dirt to build a whole new beach. Kaena Point Beach Park. A few Tract Homes and a small Business Park  Ha! With a Paradise of their own, who needs Honolulu? The entire Waianae Coast would be dealing commercially with the entire North Shore very effectively.

"Maui Waltz" by Loyal Garner

Florida is the unofficial dance capital of the world because of the sheer magnitude of the state and people involved in social dancing. In many areas, a person can go dancing not only during the day but to a different place every night of the week. The choices of where to go dancing include ballrooms, dance studios, community centers, night clubs, restaurants, lounges, hotels and religious facilities, all available to the general public. Oahu was doing very well in the Rail Disaster area but no more. Kapolei is getting better, the Central Valley is looking good for another dance club and another night club. That leaves the Waianae Coast and the North Shore wide open for what is coming.

"Social Dancers know that music is a world within itself,
it can be a language that we all understand."

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Da Latest

From a nothing blog to a viable blog takes some work. Specially when there is little in the territory that we are able to promote. This blog started as West Oahu and in Wahiawa with the famous Wahiawa Ballroom Dance Club. Now we are including Aiea, Kapolei, the Waianae Coast and the North Shore. I have made some contact with Pupukea. Mokuleia has something going always but they seem to regard their exhibitions as being in the upper art world and they lose most of us.

 "The best things in the world are free --- and worth every penny of it."

But whatever, it comes and goes in a flash. Same thing happened in Waikele and Waipio, when they lost the Dance Pavilion to pay for the Rail Disaster. I had one mention of the Legacy Ballroom but then nothing. We don't even know if it is covered with cobwebs now. I haven't been there in decades. Our best bet is that a blog can be kind of a continual tour, with a Guest Author who may be already part of our dance group.

"Mi Buenos Aires Querido" ... Placido Domingo

There will be many guest authors to choose from, and each volunteer will develop an audience that is only partially there at the beginning. There will be a considerable overlapping of readers, normal and this is called synergism. Then there's also camaraderie and politics between the people who blog - they make points and counterpoints. And they comment to each other and pat each other's backs, in all kinds of social structures that will make our blogs into social media.

"Fly Me To The Moon" by Lisa Ono

In most blogs it is easier to just start as an Information Contributor. You just email information but also photos. As you see the results you will also see the advantage of becoming a Guest Author. Then you can get in the blog, by yourself, write what you please, post photos or graphics, publish and get out. There are no commitments. No registration fees or annual meetings. No monthly dues or meetings. And you can blog whenever you damn well please. I realize this may be too many restrictions for some but that is the best we can do.

"Social dancers know that no one is useless in this world
who lightens the burdens of another."


Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Dancing

By Brian Sawaguchi, -Waipio
Dance is broadly conceived as physical movement initiated by music and organized into patterns in time and space. Most every one has seen African dancers on TV dancing to this very day, as they have been dancing for centuries. Just up and down, constantly to the beat. This is the way it has been danced by all groups throughout the world since the beginning of music. About six thousand years ago, the Indian Civilizations in Mexico learned that walking to the music merely gives you timing.

 "Quit now, you'll never make it. - If you disregard this advice,
you'll be halfway there."

When your body moves a little extra at some beat in the music, then you are dancing. For the Indians that was the difference. Later it was picked up in other parts of the world. We all know it now that shortly after, the ancient Indian civilizations in Mexico evolve a different movement from the constant, incessant step. They discovered that to enjoy the music more fully it would be by making slightly different movements of the feet or body and it just came naturally. The Rock Step evolved to allow a different movement and it is done to this very day in thousands of dances.

"Adoro" by Graciela Susana 

From there they evolved the Chassé in which the leading foot stays in the lead and could be danced to a two or three count. These are basic movements in perhaps in only ten thousand dances throughout the world but you get the drift.

"Tiny Bubbles" by Don Ho

Partner dancing, in the late 1800s, developed and standardized the next most important movement, the "underarm turn." Danced in the American Foxtrot, American Waltz, Bachata, Rumba, Beguine, Calypso, Mambo, Salsa, Samba, Tango and perhaps only five thousand other dances. Not in International but they have their own rules.

"Caminito" by Yoichi Sugawara

You thought you invented some thing new? Perhaps some one will cover all six of the underarm turns in a future blog. When you start to get too complicated, - it is for show. Beginning basic is good and should be learned very well and enjoyed to its fullest extent as social dancing. Intermediate begins to get flaky, advanced is something else and belongs on the exhibition floor. None of it bad as long as you know what you are doing and why you are doing it. Most of our dances have over 600 documented steps and patterns. So it would be nice to have at least 30 basic and 30 intermediate. All the rest can be regarded as advanced - and later for those, - much later.

"Progress, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results
cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to
advance in life as we walk, step by step"

Monday, June 5, 2017

Keep On Dancing

OK, this blog enjoyed a brief time as the number one on these islands. But we lost contact with Wahiawa and Aiea, so it is understandable. Town Dancer is back on top. No hu hu, we just have to keep trying. I have made good contact with Aiea this last week and hope to blog'em at the the next social. Meanwhile I am looking for something in Kapolei, the readership is there. Visions of Second City in spite of the Present Rail Party.

"Most Social Dancers are people who eventually realize that
mistakes are made for learning and not for repeating."

"Journalism is a style of writing characteristic of material in newspapers
and magazines, consisting of a direct presentation of facts or
occurrences with little attempt at analysis or interpretation."

From a Journalist: "Is blogging anything but a text media? Misspellings galore, poor syntax, sorry presentation. This is journalism? This is rubbish!"

Ok some can disagree but they must realize they are merely stirring the crock pot! And they will certainly get dirty. After all, lie down with dogs and you get FLEAS. Even on Oahu, so I'm outta here! Early newspapers were all independent operations just like bloggers. In fact, not until near the end of the 19th century did news papers become Established Media Outlets. The Internet is a NEW broadcast medium. Some clearly take the Established Journalism point of view and that is the exact reason for democratic debate.

"With A Song In My Heart" by Al Martino 

However once the emotional dust settles and the facts win out, democratic debate reveals the facts. It matters not that many of these people are wrong when you evaluate the totality of journalism in the last 250 years. Blogging is precisely where journalism begins as in any new medium . . . even if that medium is simply the spoken word. Blogging, specially on Oahu, is just kinda different from journalism. That's our share of comment. Let's let the party begin. If the Internet is NOT a broadcast outlet then why is there advertising on it? Why is there news on it? Why Blogs? And most important is Feedback.

"To the social dancers that still believe in their dreams:  Chase them, continue to chase them even after you are out of breath." 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

From Daily Kos

Joseph, it seems every week brings a new revelation regarding possible collusion between Donald Trump's administration and the Russian government. The legitimacy of our democracy is more important than the interests of any party, or any president.

That's why Daily Kos is joining a large coalition to #MarchForTruth on Saturday, June 3rd. Together, we'll raise our voices and demand our elected leaders seek the truth. As Representative Elijah Cummings noted, the investigation into Trump's ties to Russia represents “a fight for the soul of our democracy.”

Our goals are simple:

An independent commission must be established, and Congressional investigations should be properly resourced and pursued free of partisan interests; As much information should be made available to the public as possible, and as soon as possible; Congress should require Donald Trump to release his tax returns to clarify his business interests and obligations to any foreign entity; If crimes were committed or if collusion is discovered, it must be prosecuted.

The American people are due an impartial, thorough and independent investigation into the relationship between Donald Trump and the Russian government. Join us at a March for Truth near you to demand answers.

Keep fighting,
Monique Teal, Daily Kos